I WAS GLAD TO HEAR THE UPPER-MIDDLE CLASS SAY THEY ARE JOINING THE FIGHT AGAINST CORPORATIONS BECAUSE THEY KNOW THEY ARE GOING DOWN AS WELL!
Corporations have brought labor down to third world costs as free labor now exists as Internships, college students working in research in corporate labs, VISTAs working for poverty wages in public sector jobs, immigrant/low income worker wage theft, and prison labor forced to work for $2 an hour. Marketplace Money placed labor costs on par with China when robots were factored in. Progressives shouted at this supermajority of democrats to protect labor and the neo-liberals completely ignored this because they are working for wealth and profit....and labor and justice exploitation maximizes profit! STOP ALLOWING A NEO-LIBERAL DNC CHOOSE YOUR CANDIDATES......RUN AND VOTE FOR LABOR AND JUSTICE IN PRIMARIES!
Sleeping-Giant Issue of Unpaid U.S. Interns Gets Scrutiny
By Jim Snyder & Christie Smythe - Jun 27, 2013 12:00 AM ET Bloomberg Financial
Win McNamee/Getty Images Scotusblog.com intern Dan Stein runs with news of affirmative action ruling front of the U.S. Supreme Court building on June 24, 2013 in Washington DC. By the time Ladan Nowrasteh got her masters degree in journalism, her resume was stacked with experience. Her bank account wasn’t nearly as full.
According to a survey by the National Association of Colleges and Employers, more than 63 percent of graduating seniors in 2013 either had an internship or a co-op, a position more closely tied to an educational curriculum. About 48 percent of those were unpaid, according to the survey. Photographer: Spencer Platt/Getty Images
Like many students trying to get a leg up, Nowrasteh, 26, of Falls Church, Virginia, worked a string of unpaid internships while in undergraduate and graduate school. She often had to work part-time jobs simultaneously to pay for things like food and rent.
“The value I was getting was non-monetary,” Nowrasteh, who did seven unpaid internships as a student, said in an interview. “I wouldn’t have gotten all that experience if I wasn’t willing to work for free.”
The practice, especially common in competitive industries like journalism, finance and filmmaking, could change if the appeals court upholds the ruling of a federal judge in New York who found that moviemaker Fox Searchlight Pictures Inc. violated labor laws by not paying two of its interns. Cases have also been brought against Hearst Corp., Conde Nast Publications and the Public Broadcasting Service’s Charlie RoseShow.
“This question of whether private-sector internships violate the minimum wage laws has been sort of a sleeping-giant issue for many years,” said David Yamada, director of the New Workplace Institute at Suffolk University Law School in Boston. “The absence of payment is done with a wink and a nod. Interns know they better not make any trouble about this.”
Half Unpaid According to a survey by the National Association of Colleges and Employers, a Bethlehem, Pennsylvania-based recruiting and research group, more than 63 percent of graduating seniors in 2013 either had an internship or a co-op, a position more closely tied to an educational curriculum. About 48 percent of those were unpaid, according to the survey.
To critics, unpaid internships are an abuse of the labor system, a way for employers to take advantage of desperate job seekers. Supporters, including some former unpaid interns, see it as a way to get training and career contacts.
Nowrasteh said it paid off for her in the end. Three months after she graduated from American University, she had a job doing social media work in the Washington area.
Eric Glatt, 43, wasn’t as satisfied. The lead plaintiff in the case against Fox Searchlight, Glatt had left a job at the insurer American International Group Inc. in New York to pursue a career in film. After earning a certificate in film editing, he eventually took two temporary positions on the set of the movie “Black Swan,” where he spent much of his time learning the art of making copies.
Taken Advantage “I knew I was being taken advantage of,” Glatt, now a law student at Georgetown University in Washington, said in an interview. “I just didn’t think there was anything I could do about it.”
That changed when he read a news article about a six-part test the U.S. Labor Department uses to judge whether unpaid internships violate labor laws.
In ruling against Fox Searchlight, U.S. District Judge William H. Pauley in Manhattan said internships can be exempt from minimum wage requirements only if they adhere to all the criteria in the Labor Department test, which is based on a 1947 U.S. Supreme Court (1000L) decision concerning railroad trainees.
The criteria require that a position be structured for the intern’s benefit and should not displace regular workers. The employer also should not derive immediate advantages from the intern’s activities.
Lunch Orders Glatt and Alexander Footman, who also worked as an unpaid intern at Fox Searchlight, alleged that they were asked to perform routine errands and other tasks, such as making deliveries, organizing file cabinets, making photocopies and taking lunch orders.
Los Angeles-based Fox Searchlight, a unit of 21st Century Fox, the entertainment group being split off News Corp (NWSA). in a restructuring, had argued that the internships should be held to a less stringent “primary benefits test,” which would allow a position to be unpaid if the intern received a greater benefit than the employer. The company argued the interns got more benefits than it did.
Fox Searchlight did obtain “an immediate advantage from Glatt and Footman’s work,” Pauley said in his ruling. “Menial as it was, their work was essential. The fact they were beginners is irrelevant.”
“We are very disappointed with the court’s rulings,” Chris Petrikin, a company spokesman, said in an e-mail. “We believe they are erroneous, and will seek to have them reversed by the Second Circuit as quickly as possible.”
Economic Downturn Most internships in the private sector would not qualify to be unpaid under the stricter test that Pauley upheld, Yamada, of Suffolk University Law School, said.
The number of unpaid internships tends to go up during economic downturns, said Phil Gardner, who directs the Collegiate Employment Research Institute at Michigan State University in East Lansing.
Gardner doubted that Glatt’s legal victory will put a stop to the practice, though it may make employers think twice about not paying interns, he said. That could hurt students, who may face more limited opportunities to gain experience.
“You start at the bottom, and you do what you have to do to get your break,” Gardner said in an interview. “That’s the mindset. It’s really resistant to change.”
Valuable Experience Angela Huynh said as a student at Syracuse University in New York she took an unpaid marketing internship at a unit of Time Warner Inc.’s Warner Bros. studio, where she ran errands and also sat in on production meetings and helped put together press events.
“There were definitely times when I felt like, ‘I don’t really need to be going to get coffee this much,’” Huynh said in an interview. Overall, though, she said the experience was valuable. Now 28 with a master’s degree in creative writing from Columbia University in New York, Huynh said some of the people she used to work with are helping her try to find a job in the industry.
“I didn’t feel like I was being taken advantage of,” she said.
In their lawsuit, Glatt and Footman alleged that Fox Searchlight keeps its production costs down by “employing a steady stream of unpaid interns.”
Such staffers “are becoming the modern-day equivalent of entry-level employees, except that employers are not paying them for the many hours they work,” the former interns alleged in their complaint, filed in September 2011.
Favors Wealth Glatt said one of his motivations for bringing the case is he believes unpaid internships favor students from higher-income households whose parents can afford to cover their expenses or people like him who were starting second careers and had savings to carry them through.
The Labor Department’s internship standards have not always prevailed in disputes over unpaid labor. In April 2011, the U.S. Court of Appeals in Cincinnati, Ohio, affirmed a lower-court’s ruling in finding that the test is “overly rigid” and “a poor method for determining employee status in a training or educational setting.”
The case centered on work requirements at Tennessee Seventh-day Adventist school Laurelbrook Sanitarium and School Inc., which directed its nursing assistant students to perform services for an on-site health care facility.
If Pauley’s decision is challenged and later affirmed by the U.S. Court of Appeals in Manhattan, the case might be considered in conflict with the Ohio federal appeals panel, raising the possibility that the issue could end up before the U.S. Supreme Court.
‘Legal Uncertainty’ The ruling in the Fox Searchlight case “creates a significant legal uncertainty,” said Samuel Estreicher, professor of labor and employment law at New York University. He said he would advise employers not to use unpaid interns in light of the decision.
“I think it’s going to discourage internship programs, even where they largely benefit the intern,” he said.
Bloomberg News pays all the interns it employs, said Liz Wamai, the company’s global head of recruiting.
Outten & Golden LLP, which represents Glatt and Footman, is also handling lawsuits brought by former unpaid interns at News Corp. (NWSA) and Fox Entertainment Group Inc., Hearst Corp., Conde Nast Publications and Rose. The PBS host has settled the case with former interns, said Juno Turner, an attorney with the firm. The Conde Nast and News Corp. cases still pending. Plaintiffs in the Hearst case were dealt a setback in May when U.S. District Judge Harold Baer Jr. in Manhattan declined to uphold the Labor Department test and rejected their request to include other interns in their suit.
Robert Shindell, a vice president at Intern Bridge Inc., a college recruiting and research company based in Austin, Texas, said it wasn’t clear what the broader impact of the court cases may be. Most companies can probably afford to pay interns, who would earn about $3,000 if they were paid the minimum wage over three months.
“Hopefully some of these companies do the moral and just thing and just pay their employees,” Shindell said in an interview.
The case is Eric Glatt et al v. Fox Searchlight Pictures Inc., 1:11-cv-0684, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York (Manhattan).
To contact the reporters on this story: Jim Snyder in Washington at firstname.lastname@example.org; Christie Smythe in Brooklyn at email@example.com
To contact the editors responsible for this story: Jon Morgan at firstname.lastname@example.org; Michael Hytha at email@example.com
The immigration bill is going to say there are not enough skilled workers and especially STEM workers domestically so quotas in the hundreds of thousands of high-end immigrants are going to flood an already high-employment market. They pronounce unemployment numbers at 7.6% because they expect to say.....look, unemployment is low enough for need of foreign workers!
Why Are So Many College Graduates Driving Taxis?
By Peter Orszag Jun 25, 2013 6:00 PM ET Bloomberg Financial
It’s a parent’s nightmare: shelling out big money for college, then seeing the graduate unable to land a job that requires high-level skills. This situation may be growing more common, unfortunately, because the demand for cognitive skills associated with higher education, after rising sharply until 2000, has since been in decline.
So concludes new research by economists Paul Beaudry and David Green of the University of British Columbia and Benjamin Sand of York University in Toronto. This reversal in demand has caused high-skilled workers to accept lower-level jobs, pushing lower-skilled people even further down the occupational ladder or out of work altogether. If the researchers are right (which is not yet clear), the consequences are huge and troubling -- and not just for college grads and their parents.
About Peter R Orszag» Peter R. Orszag, vice chairman of corporate and investment banking at Citigroup and an adjunct senior fellow at ... MORE
Let’s start with some basic facts. There have always been some graduates who wind up in jobs that don’t require a college degree. But the share seems to be growing. In 1970, only 1 in 100 taxi drivers and chauffeurs in the U.S. had a college degree, according to an analysis of labor statistics by Ohio University’s Richard Vedder, Christopher Denhart and Jonathan Robe. Today, 15 of 100 do.
It’s hard to believe this is because the skill required to drive a taxi has risen substantially since 1970. If anything, GPS technology may have had the opposite effect. (Acquiring “the knowledge” of London streets, as taxi drivers there are required to do, is cognitively challenging, but it may no longer be necessary.)
Educated Firefighters Similarly, in 1970, only about 2 percent of firefighters had a college degree, compared with more than 15 percent now, Vedder and his colleagues found. And, according to research by economists Paul Harrington and Andrew Sum of Northeastern University, about 1 in 4 bartenders has some sort of degree.
Beaudry and his colleagues say that such change has been driven by a decline in the demand for highly skilled work -- the opposite of the conventional wisdom about such demand. The employment rate in “cognitive” occupations -- managerial, professional and technical jobs -- increased markedly from 1980 to 2000, their research found, but it has since stagnated, even as the supply of skilled workers has continued to grow.
What has changed? One possibility, as I’ve previously written, is that the effects of a globalizing workforce are creeping up the income scale. Many jobs that once required cognitive skill can be automated. Anything that can be digitized can be done either by computer or by workers abroad. While the “winner take all” phenomenon may still mean extremely high returns for workers at the very top, that may be relevant for a shrinking share of college graduates.
Whatever the explanation, the Beaudry team argues that an excess of skilled workers has led them into the “routine” job market -- such as sales and clerical jobs -- reducing wages there and pushing less skilled workers into “manual” jobs in construction, farming and so on.
What’s puzzling here is that it seems inconsistent with evidence that the wage premium enjoyed by college graduates has persisted. For example, a recent paper by Philip Oreopoulos and Uros Petronijevic of the University of Toronto (yes, Canadian economists seem to dominate this aspect of the U.S. labor market) found that the earnings premium for college graduates has risen substantially over the past several decades and that investment in college “appears to pay off for both the average and marginal student.”
The still-strong earnings premium strongly suggests that the demand for skill has not collapsed. After all, if cognitive skills became less valuable in the labor market, wouldn’t one expect wages to fall more for college graduates than for others?
Falling Wages Not necessarily, Beaudry and his colleagues argue. They find that while wages for jobs requiring cognitive skills have declined, the shift of high-skilled workers into those jobs has depressed wages for manual workers even more.
That’s a provocative argument. Still, it may be that the Beaudry team’s results are sensitive to the way they define “cognitive” jobs and “manual” ones. Also, it’s not entirely clear how much the recent recession has influenced their results.
In any case, the findings will do little to calm the nerves of graduates who are anxious to find jobs.
The cold comfort I can offer is this: Going to college may still be worthwhile -- if not to be sure of qualifying for skilled jobs, then at least to avoid the even worse prospects of those who don’t get a degree.
(Peter Orszag is vice chairman of corporate and investment banking and chairman of the financial strategy and solutions group at Citigroup Inc. and a former director of the Office of Management and Budget in the Obama administration.)
Comment from an Illinois resident...note Illinois is heavily democratic.....THIRD WAY CORPORATE NEO-LIBERALS THAT IS!
REMEMBER, WE HAVE HIGH UNEMPLOYMENT BECAUSE OF FED POLICY, WALL STREET BUBBLES AND FRAUD, AND GLOBAL MARKETS. IF WE REVERSE CORPORATE RULE BY DOWNSIZING CORPORATIONS SIMPLY BY RECOVERING TENS OF TRILLIONS IN CORPORATE FRAUD,,....DOMESTIC EMPLOYMENT WOULD RECOVER!
All Employment offices are going to be closed, with the state plan to turn them into call centers. You will only see a few walk in offices remain behind. Good luck deciphering their correspondence. Often the beginning of a letter contradicts the conclusion portion of a notification. Think of the IRS on steroids.
The IL Dept of Employment isn't meant to just hand out earned unemployment benefits. They are to fulfill the responsibilities to the WIA law. They are supposed to be assisting in building community bridges for economic development. Now the state takes our money, and is turning its back on our communities. SHAME ON YOU, Madigan, Gov Quinn and the rest of you boondogglers!
Peoria IDES Office Overloaded With Unemployed
PEORIA - Hundreds of unemployed people in central Illinois wait in line every day, hoping to get the service they need in order to receive benefits. But, it often takes hours, and sometimes, multiple days to get answers. This Peoria building looks more like a revolving door.
Bruce Weirauch shares his experience. He said, "It takes an hour to get through the initial line and then I was here yesterday for five hours and didn't even get to talk to anybody."
Clayton Phelps said, "Probably 80 deep just to get to number to see a person."
Employees said more than 100 people line up outside Peoria's Illinois Department of Employment Security building on most days. Weirauch said, "The people that are working inside they're good people they're trying to do the best they can but they're just totally overwhelmed."
The Peoria office lost two-thirds of its staff last fall. On top of that, it's covering for ten other counties.
Weirauch said, "I come to Peoria because they closed all the other offices."
The state won't allow us to get inside, but you can tell by the packed parking lot, how many hundreds of people are inside waiting in line.
Phelps said, "It's a disaster. If you go inside, you have people irritated."
The top communications manager for the IDES said the offices are federally funded. He said in 2010, the department's budget was $275 million dollars. Now, it's nearly cut by a third, it's $190 million.
He said across the state, people are feeling the effects.
For local people looking for some help, it's a tough road with no end in sight. Phelps said, "They laid people off at these offices, closed offices and the unemployment is still high and a lot of people probably just get frustrated and give up.
The Galesburg unemployment office was shut down in March. Pekin lost its office last fall. Peoria employees said they, too, are frustrated like the citizens they work to serve.
DO NOT FORGET......ALL OF THE GOVERNMENT DEBT, ALL OF THE UNEMPLOYMENT, ALL OF PEOPLE'S LOST WEALTH WAS PLANNED AND WAS CAUSED BY SYSTEMIC FRAUD!!!!! YOUR THIRD WAY CORPORATE DEMOCRAT KNEW IT WAS HAPPENING AND THEY ARE FIGHTING TO PROTECT THE FRAUDSTERS......THE IS THE PROBLEM WITH UNEMPLOYMENT AND THE SOLUTION!
This global financial fraud and its gatekeepers The media's 'bad apple' thesis no longer works. We're seeing systemic corruption in banking – and systemic collusion
Protesters outside a Bank of America annual shareholders' meeting in Charlotte, North Carolina. Photograph: Jason Miczek/Reuters Last fall, I argued that the violent reaction to Occupy and other protests around the world had to do with the 1%ers' fear of the rank and file exposing massive fraud if they ever managed get their hands on the books. At that time, I had no evidence of this motivation beyond the fact that financial system reform and increased transparency were at the top of many protesters' list of demands.
But this week presents a sick-making trove of new data that abundantly fills in this hypothesis and confirms this picture. The notion that the entire global financial system is riddled with systemic fraud – and that key players in the gatekeeper roles, both in finance and in government, including regulatory bodies, know it and choose to quietly sustain this reality – is one that would have only recently seemed like the frenzied hypothesis of tinhat-wearers, but this week's headlines make such a conclusion, sadly, inevitable.
The New York Times business section on 12 July shows multiple exposes of systemic fraud throughout banks: banks colluding with other banks in manipulation of interest rates, regulators aware of systemic fraud, and key government officials (at least one banker who became the most key government official) aware of it and colluding as well. Fraud in banks has been understood conventionally and, I would say, messaged as a glitch. As in London Mayor Boris Johnson's full-throated defense of Barclay's leadership last week, bank fraud is portrayed as a case, when it surfaces, of a few "bad apples" gone astray.
In the New York Times business section, we read that the HSBC banking group is being fined up to $1bn, for not preventing money-laundering (a highly profitable activity not to prevent) between 2004 and 2010 – a six years' long "oops". In another article that day, Republican Senator Charles Grassley says of the financial group Peregrine capital: "This is a company that is on top of things." The article goes onto explain that at Peregrine Financial, "regulators discovered about $215m in customer money was missing." Its founder now faces criminal charges. Later, the article mentions that this revelation comes a few months after MF Global "lost" more than $1bn in clients' money.
What is weird is how these reports so consistently describe the activity that led to all this vanishing cash as simple bumbling: "regulators missed the red flag for years." They note that a Peregrine client alerted the firm's primary regulator in 2004 and another raised issues with the regulator five years later – yet "signs of trouble seemingly missed for years", muses the Times headline.
A page later, "Wells Fargo will Settle Mortgage Bias Charges" as that bank agrees to pay $175m in fines resulting from its having – again, very lucratively – charged African-American and Hispanic mortgagees costlier rates on their subprime mortgages than their counterparts who were white and had the same credit scores. Remember, this was a time when "Wall Street firms developed a huge demand for subprime loans that they purchased and bundled into securities for investors, creating financial incentives for lenders to make such loans." So, Wells Fargo was profiting from overcharging minority clients and profiting from products based on the higher-than-average bad loan rate expected. The piece discreetly ends mentioning that a Bank of America lawsuit of $335m and a Sun Trust mortgage settlement of $21m for having engaged is similar kinds of discrimination.
Are all these examples of oversight failure and banking fraud just big ol' mistakes? Are the regulators simply distracted?
The top headline of the day's news sums up why it is not that simple: "Geithner Tried to Curb Bank's Rate Rigging in 2008". The story reports that when Timothy Geithner, at the time he ran the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, learned of "problems" with how interest rates were fixed in London, the financial center at the heart of the Libor Barclays scandal. He let "top British authorities" know of the issues and wrote an email to his counterparts suggesting reforms. Were his actions ethical, or prudent? A possible interpretation of Geithner's action is that he was "covering his ass", without serious expectation of effecting reform of what he knew to be systemic abuse.
And what, in fact, happened? Barclays kept reporting false rates, seeking to boost its profit. Last month, the bank agreed to pay $450m to US and UK authorities for manipulating the Libor and other key benchmarks, upon which great swaths of the economy depended. This manipulation is alleged in numerous lawsuits to have defrauded thousands of bank clients. So Geithner's "warnings came too late, and his efforts did not stop the illegal activity".
And then what happened? Did Geithner, presumably frustrated that his warnings had gone unheeded, call a press conference? No. He stayed silent, as a practice that now looks as if several major banks also perpetrated, continued.
And then what happened? Tim Geithner became Treasury Secretary. At which point, he still did nothing.
It is very hard, looking at the elaborate edifices of fraud that are emerging across the financial system, to ignore the possibility that this kind of silence – "the willingness to not rock the boat" – is simply rewarded by promotion to ever higher positions, ever greater authority. If you learn that rate-rigging and regulatory failures are systemic, but stay quiet, well, perhaps you have shown that you are genuinely reliable and deserve membership of the club.
Whatever motivated Geithner's silence, or that of the "government official" in the emails to Barclays, this much is obvious: the mainstream media need to drop their narratives of "Gosh, another oversight". The financial sector's corruption must be recognized as systemic.
Meanwhile, Britain is sleepwalking in a march toward total email surveillance, even as the US brings forward new proposals to punish whistleblowers by extending the Espionage Act. In an electronic world, evidence of these crimes lasts forever – if people get their hands on the books. In the Libor case, notably, a major crime has not been greeted by much demand at the top for criminal prosecutions. That asymmetry is one of the insurance policies of power. Another is to crack down on citizens' protest.